Yankee Come Home: On the Road from San Juan Hill to Guant�namo
On the Road from San Juan Hill to Guantánamo
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Yankee Come Home explores one familys history in Cuba, and through it, the intense, complex, smoldering relationship between the island nation and its leviathan neighbor.
In Cubas most entrancing, storied landscape, William Craig is searching for a history that his family has lost-and now needs to recover. Hes looking for the truth about his mysterious great-grandfather, Thomas OBrien, a self-proclaimed hero of the "splendid little war" who left a legacy of glorious, painful lies. Living a dream that haunts American hearts-the dream of escaping the past, of becoming who we say we are-"Papa" died leaving his own children wondering who hed really been.
Along the way, Craig searches for the place where Gilded Age America abandoned republican ideals in favor of imperial ambition-and where his own generation of Americans now preside over arbitrary imprisonment and systematized torture. "I needed to see Guant�namo the way some Americans needed to drive through the night to kneel at JFKs coffin, and others are drawn to Ground Zero," he writes. "Sometimes, we dont know what weve lost until we trace the scars." Traveling with Craig, readers will join in present-day adventures: spirit-possession rituals, black market odysseys, roots-music epiphanies, and discovering the continuing impact of the war in 1898 on both Cuba and America.
The story of the United States in Cuba is fascinating, but none too flattering. Like the reality of "Papa" OBriens identity, it reflects more hubris than heroism, more avarice than sacrifice. In the end, however, Craigs journey in Yankee Come Home is a transformation from disillusionment to redemption.
- Bloomsbury Publishing, August 2012
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